Lay people are eager to make their working lives more rewarding, says a recent study by the Barna Group, but the church is not providing much in the way of direction.
According to recent research on vocation and calling:
… three-quarters of U.S. adults (75%) say they are looking for ways to live a more meaningful life. Whether such meaning is found in family, career, church, side projects or elsewhere, these are all questions of vocation—that is, the way in which people feel “called” to certain types of work and life choices. And in 2014, these questions remain as strong as ever for millions of Americans
Among Christians, there is an additional question: “What does God want me to do with my life?” According to Barna Group’s study, only 40% of practicing Christians say they have a clear sense of God’s calling on their lives. Christian Millennials are especially sensitive to this divine prompting—nearly half (48%) say they believe God is calling them to different work, yet they haven’t yet made such a change.
Sermons are commonly preached on evangelism, discipleship, and spiritual disciplines—but what about vocation? It turns out that most churchgoers are craving more direction and discipleship when it comes to the theology of calling, especially as it relates to work. Barna research shows nearly two-thirds of churched adults say it has been at least three years or more since they heard church teachings on work and career, and yet, the workplace is where most Americans spend a the biggest share of their waking hours.
Is the church equipped to help people find more meaning in their work? How should it do so?